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Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) Meeting - Minutes

SIC Members: Sébastien Bachollet, Bill Graham, Ray Plzak – Chair

Apologies: Wolfgang Kleinwächter and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Member Attendees: Chris Disspain, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, and George Sadowsky

Executive and Staff Attendees: Susana Bennett, Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Xavier Calvez, Larisa Gurnick, Jamie Hedlund, Alice Jansen, John Jeffrey, Jacks Khawaja, Denise Michel, David Olive, Erika Randall, Amy Stathos, and Theresa Swinehart


The following is a summary of discussions, decisions, and actions identified:

The Meeting was called to order at 11:00 local time Santa Monica, California.

  1. Agenda: The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.
  2. Approval of Minutes: The Chair noted that the minutes from the 15 November 2013 were approved online.
  3. Organizational Effectiveness Audit/Review: The Chair stated that the Bylaws require certain reviews of ICANN's structure, and made a presentation to the SIC of a proposed "audit" approach to undertake the structural reviews. The Chair discussed elements of different types of audits (outcome, structural and process element audits), and how they may be used to assist the overall effectiveness of the organization. The SIC considered potential elements of an audit or review mechanism, including the methods and tools, and qualitative and quantitative metrics. The Chair noted that the outputs could be fed into the work of other Board committees, such as the Audit Committee or the Risk Committee. The members of the SIC discussed whether the proposed approach would overlap with the overall organizational assessment that is part of the ATRT review. The SIC also discussed the implications of using the term "audit" to identify the structural review, and discussed the importance of ensuring that any review (or "audit") meets the requirements in the Bylaws. Some members of the Committee noted the concerns expressed by the community about the number of reviews underway, and the SIC considered whether efficiencies can be identified to reduce the potential burden of the various reviews scheduled.

    • Actions:
      • Staff to prepare an inventory and assessment of current reviews to provide insight into whether efficiencies exist.
  4. AOB: The chair noted that the SIC would postpone consideration of other agenda items until its next meeting.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 21 March 2014

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."